Longtime CLC leaders given send-off after combined 71 years on board
Richard A. Anderson and William M. Griffin, who have a combined 71 years of experience serving on the College of Lake County board, got a proper send-off at their final board meeting on Tuesday night.
Both men's experience at the college dates back to the 1970s, when they were students attending class in temporary trailers. Both Anderson and Griffin elected not to seek additional 6-year terms in the spring election.
"That we are now here with a $110 million-plus budget; that we have now 1,200 employees, three major campuses," Griffin said, "it's just rewarding to have played a part in that."
After graduating from CLC in the early 1970s, Griffin, of Lake Forest, came back to the college to teach business courses while he worked up the corporate ladder at ComEd. He said he had to stop teaching when he was elected to the board in 1995.
Anderson, of Grayslake, was elected to the board in 1974 as a student and has served ever since.
"Believe me, the people of Lake County were worried about me a lot because they thought I was going to do something crazy," Anderson said. "Well, here I am still doing crazy things 47 years later."
There were no shortage of kind words for Anderson and Griffin at the meeting.
Kim Boyke, the president of the CLC teachers union and a math instructor at the college since 1996, said the men have been with the school through both the lean and the joyous times.
"You have been there advocating, leading and envisioning," Boyke said via video conference. "The CLC today is the future dream of a past that you were part of, and a middle that involved a lot of work."
Anderson said one of the things he's proudest of is getting a fire station built on campus. Within the first week of opening, firefighters saved the life of a baby as well as a college employee who might have died from a heart attack otherwise.
Jim Reed, the executive director of the Illinois Community College Trustees Association, said in a statement that Anderson lives and breathes community colleges and encourages board members to work together and be better.
"He is always the first to remind his fellow trustees of the value of local decision-making that keeps students foremost in mind," Reed said in a statement.
Reed said Griffin drew upon his background as a business executive and nonprofit director to carry out his duties as a leader at CLC.
"He has established a legacy of academic excellence, integrity, and dedication to the community at large," Reed said.
After they were honored, new board members Gerri Songer and Paul G. Virgilio -- who were both elected to 6-year terms -- and new board member Robert J. Tomei Jr. -- who was elected to a 2-year term -- were welcomed to the board. Incumbent board member Amanda Howland won another 6-year term, and incumbent Torrie Mark Newsome won a 4-year term.